Quick Hit: Proving that studios should be willing to tell stories from different viewpoints about different viewpoints.
There really aren’t as many traditional romantic comedies anymore. Rom-Coms have slowly decreased in number, mainly in favor of comedies that have a touch of romance in them. But in the way they used to be presented, with a young man and a woman who either “meet-cute” or are an established couple that will go through a humorous trial, there just don’t seem to be as many of them in today’s society. We’re instead given tween dramas that pretend to fill the void – but honestly, I’m comfortable enough saying I enjoy a good romantic comedy.
Jon. M. Chu has given us that. Previously known primarily for dance movies and other frenetic paced things, like G.I. Joe, he brings that style into the world of Crazy Rich Asians. The Trans-Pacific story follows Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), a professor who is dating Nick Young (Henry Golding). When Nick decides to bring Rachel back to meet his family, she discovers a whole new side of him – the incredibly wealthy, old money kind of side. In discovering this, many of Nick’s family, including mother, Eleanor Young (Michelle Yeoh – terrific here), decide to show Rachel exactly why she doesn’t belong in a society like this.
There’s so much on the plate of Crazy Rich, but that doesn’t stop it from being a masterpiece. A lot of Nick’s family and other side characters run together, as they’re blazed through in montage form, but a few stand out. Astrid (Gemma Chan) is quietly imposing, and is dealing with her own issues with the disparity between money and commoner. There’s Oliver, the rainbow sheep of the clan, and there’s also Peik Lin (Awkwafina), Rachel’s best friend from college, stealing nearly every moment she’s on the screen. That’s the only downside I found to the film – there are so many characters I’d like to spend more time with, and the film just doesn’t slow down to meet them (it’s based on a book, so maybe I’ll get that from there).
But what I thought that Crazy Rich did spectacularly was its visual appeal and aesthetic. It’s beautiful, with many plates of the Singapore street cuisine scene (say that three times fast), and beautiful palatial mansions that consist of nothing but beautiful people dressed in beautiful clothing. It’s a whirlwind feast for your eyes that Chu almost never slows down, and it’s fantastically done in time with the story of Nick and Rachel.
I rather enjoyed the film, even if there were some parts I nitpicked a bit. I’m giving it a “B”.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"